In the early spring of the year 2000 I learned that the company I worked at was being bought and my job was going to be integrated. How do you like that word? I didn't and I did. At the time I had been a member of several local professional organizations -- I could not volunteer because I had a 78-mile commute each way -- and managed nonetheless to participate at events and contribute to a newsletter.
While reaching out to my friends and peers was one of the first things I did, my priority remained to figure out what I wanted. The outplacement services my company offered as part of the separation package were top notch. Yet I still felt it was really up to me to shape what it means to be me, a professional communicator and marketer. So I did the unthinkable: I set off to make a whole new organization up. Well, nothing new here, it's been done before. Stay in that skeptical place for a moment.
You may have noticed the heavy influence of Italian material on this blog. I wasn't always so keen on broadcasting my origins. Do you know what you speak when you meet an Italian in Philadelphia? English. So for many years I was into becoming American, with all the seduction the reinvention piece offered. That was then.
Back to the future
I did not take on just any group. On November 1995 I cracked open the first issue of Fast Company magazine -- I was hooked. And so were many others. What the magazine and its readers' network, the group I took on, did for me over the years was showing me that the conversation of growth is one worth having every single day of our lives.
Fast forward to today
This week we had our monthly event. The group now counts more than 450 members, many of them intensely engaged in the conversation. My love of learning, talent for getting the right people in the room, and just dogged perseverance have served us well.
Am I in control of my career? The design specs are solid and compelling. How did I get to where I am today? I implemented an integrated marketing communications plan as the system to execute on what it means to be me professionally. To be continued...
Do you have a career strategy?
How do you design your growth?
What does execution on that look like?